NEW SARPY, La. — Hollywood has stepped in to help with fundraising for funeral expenses for a former child actor.
30-year-old Coronji Calhoun Sr. from St. Charles Parish died on October 13, 2021.
The New Sarpy native was best known for his role in the Monster's Ball, which was filmed in New Orleans. At the age of 10, Calhoun played the child of actors Halle Berry and Sean Combs in the award-winning film. He had not acted since appearing in the film which was shot in 2001.
Theresa Bailey, Calhoun's mother, tells us he died because of congestive heart failure and problems with his lungs. She tells us the support from the community has been wonderful; she says it's clear to see how deeply loved he was by his friends.
The family tells us Calhoun did not have life insurance, so a GoFundMe account has been created to help give him "a sacred celebration of life."
On Tuesday, November 9, 2021, his family met their $10,000 goal after Calhoun's movie mom and former producer stepped in to split the difference. Halle Berry and Lee Daniels are both listed on the GoFundMe page as donators of $3,394.
Bailey reached out again following the donation, expressing her thanks. "On behalf of the Calhoun and Bailey family, I would like to thank each and every individual who found it in their hearts to extend the much needed financial support to lay Coronji Sr. to rest. We are blown away by the outpouring of love the community and Coronji's adopted family has shown during our process of grief. While the financial burden has been lifted, we still mourn the loss of my son. As we close this chapter, we ask that in your remembrance of him, you remember to love your neighbor as yourself, because that is what Coronji did for his entire community."
Calhoun was one of six children, and he leaves behind a 10-year-old son and 13-year-old stepson.